History Lesson:

#1
Having watched the number of our soldiers dying in Afghanistan increasing and looking up on the falklands war (i wasnt born then so hence the question im about to ask).

What was public opinion on the lost soldiers during the falklands as we lost 258 in a little over 2 and 1/2 months??

was it as bad as it is today with afghanistan or was it not really in the public eye at all??

Thanks for your time and i hope ive got the right forum
 
#2
A big difference was the the FI lasted a brief period as opposed to Afg which is a constant drip.
The situation was hugely different as we had been affronted by some cheeky latin scamps who we had to sort out by ourselves, not follow the Yanks in their latest Middle Eastern adventure.
There was huge pride at the job the boys did, that the services performed so well. We expected a short sharp engagement and I for one was pleased that the bill wasn't higher as some actions were got away with relatively lightly, though some weren't.
It was right in the public eye as that is all we thought of for the duration, and certainly marked my 20's, the reputation of the forces certainly went up after that one.
 
#3
Punk_trooper said:
Having watched the number of our soldiers dying in Afghanistan increasing and looking up on the falklands war (i wasnt born then so hence the question im about to ask).
What was public opinion on the lost soldiers during the falklands as we lost 258 in a little over 2 and 1/2 months??
was it as bad as it is today with afghanistan or was it not really in the public eye at all??
Thanks for your time and i hope ive got the right forum
You could ask the same of NI. That said, public opinion then was the same as it is today about our losses. The difference was, the same public generally believed that the war had a genuine cause and a leader with a take no shite attitude. Of course media technology today means we are seeing a great deal more than in the 80s.
 
#4
Thought it was about time to stop lurking and make my first post.

As for my recollection, I was about 16 at the time and still in my last year at School. I remember the troops leaving with pomp and ceremony, the sense of pride felt by the majority of the public and the feeling of anger at what the Argentinians had done.

I think the difference was that we hadn't followed the Americans into battle, and no other county was giving us physical support. It was our lads doing it for a remote part of Britain. I also remember being in tears when HMS Sheffield was sunk. It hit me as a 16 year old lad quite hard, but the sense of pride overwhelmed that.

I think today's campaigns are seen more as a necessary evil rather than remedy for a slight to our nation.

Never the less I'd like to take this opportunity just to say I am damned proud of anyone who does there service either now and in the past.

Cheers lads
 
#5
Thanks for all your input guys!!
 
#6
Although I was only a little nipper at the time of the Falklands.
I remember immense pride in our boys going over there, as it was sovereign British territory that had been invaded. Not to belittle the current conflict, but to a young boy growing up reading Commando books & Battle magazines it seemed like a "Just" war. Johnny foreigner invades & subjugates our citizens, we go to war to reclaim our land & free our citizens.

Casualities were to be expected. The Sir Galahad bombing brought the conflict really home to me though. Not just the large loss of life & injuries sustained, but the fact they died on ship, not fighting the enemy. And, being Welsh & having what felt like my local regiment involved was also hard. That's not to take anything away from any of the deaths of those involved in the war. Also, it was shown on tv. The images of that ship burning & the boats coming ashore with injured was at the time to me horrific.
With the extensive coverage we now have of Afghanistan, we (the public at home) now see far more of what our soldiers go through. Plus, the locals in the Falklands weren't hostile to us. We actually were their liberators. That coupled with the short time the war lasted didn't allow the national support for the war to wain.

So in answer to your question, eventually, I think public opinion to the Falklands was a lot like it was during WW2. It was a massive shame that anyone had to die, but they died protecting British citizens. Unlike Afghanistan, where although the government say they are protecting British citizens by ousting the Taliban, there is/was no visible sign of British citizens being subjugated by a foreign power. The war has no signs of ending, & the death toll seems to slowly increase every day with individuals being killed & their names & faces being shown on tv. Each death seems to be more personal as we (the public at home) see the deceaseds face on the news, we know their name, see their family grieving in some instances, & see the coffins come home individually or in small groups.

Edited to add. As someone mentioned above, I'm immensely proud of all our men & women who have served in either of these conflicts.

Apologies if I rambled a bit.
 
#7
Miner said:
Apologies if I rambled a bit.
Don't you always Miner? But nicely put. :wink:
 
#8
The media has a massive influence in the public's perception of current conflicts. During the Falklands war, news was reported during the scheduled daily bulletins or the odd newsflash. Today news is a 24 hour monster with several heads that needs to be constantly fed and reaches an audience worldwide. Each news item today has to be micro-analysed so as to fill the 24 hours. This has a direct result on how a conflict is reported and how it's digested. As a result either for better or worse, opinions are formed.
Despite what the public might think, none of this prevents the fact that the humble British squaddie has been and always will be nails though.
 
A

ALVIN

Guest
#9
Consider this as part of your history lesson as well punk trooper....... More Falklands Veterans have now sadly committed suicide, than were actually killed in action, and it is that aspect which causes the most concern.
 
#10
ALVIN said:
Consider this as part of your history lesson as well punk trooper....... More Falklands Veterans have now sadly committed suicide, than were actually killed in action, and it is that aspect which causes the most concern.
I hope that is a statistic that won't repeat itself 26 years from now ALVIN. But it's sad possibility.
 
#11
Kindly remember that New Labour don't do history. Why? Because to begin with Bliar and his gang of unprincipled spin-doctors were not in it - they are now!

They have entered our history as the worst and most dishonest, clueless government experienced by Great Britain - ever.

Envy - Malice - Spite - the corner-stones of the policies of this awful shower of sh!te.
 

BrunoNoMedals

LE
Kit Reviewer
#12
lsquared said:
Kindly remember that New Labour don't do history. Why? Because to begin with Bliar and his gang of unprincipled spin-doctors were not in it - they are now!

They have entered our history as the worst and most dishonest, clueless government experienced by Great Britain - ever.

Envy - Malice - Spite - the corner-stones of the policies of this awful shower of sh!te.
lsquared, I know your tag should really give it away, but I've never really had a problem with you. I see the anti-government vitriol, most of which I agree with and most of it well written, and I think you can crack on. However, there are times when the militant tory should stay in the box. This thread has absolutely fuck all to do with how crap our current government is. For God's sake, give it a rest just once in a while.
 
#13
righthandmarker said:
The media has a massive influence in the public's perception of current conflicts. During the Falklands war, news was reported during the scheduled daily bulletins or the odd newsflash. Today news is a 24 hour monster with several heads that needs to be constantly fed and reaches an audience worldwide. Each news item today has to be micro-analysed so as to fill the 24 hours. This has a direct result on how a conflict is reported and how it's digested. As a result either for better or worse, opinions are formed.
Despite what the public might think, none of this prevents the fact that the humble British squaddie has been and always will be nails though.
I seem to remember that there was an agreed media embargo between the forces and the British news services of 24 hours. This meant that we were getting news that was at least 24 hours old. This however was broken when a BBC reporter made a report about the battle of Mount Tumbledown, in which he told the world the sitrep of the troops, 2 Para i think? This was picked up by the Argentinians and gave them ample time to strengthen their defences on top of Tumbledown. The reporters actions removed the element of surprise from the British troops, and led to far more casualties than would possibly have been expected from the attack. After that the relationship between the media and troops changed dramatically. Perhaps someone can fill in the details as my dotage may be playing tricks?
 
#14
Further to my last...If you asked most people at the time where the Falklands were, they would not have been able to tell you. Most people believed that they were just north of Scotland...The effect of the media coverage was to bring home very sharply to us the hardships faced by our boys over there. Thatcher was undoubtedly delighted to give her the opportunity to prove her mettle to the nation, as a war time leader and remain in power as labour were a very poor alternative. The papers represented their own particular political agendas. The Sun was very right wing in it's reporting with GOTCHA! being a memorable headline for the sinking of the Belgrano or The Mirror with it's left wing leanings trying to counter, with it's own brand of propaganda. They say there is nothing new under the sun, well this was different. For the first time we had almost immediate news on a war as it was happening. By todays standards very old hat, but for their time...State of the art.
 
#15
The FI campaign was a very "traditional" sort of war. The public knew why it was fought, they knew what the purpose was and it was clear when victory was achieved.

This current conflict is not clear. I doubt if most people in the street, if asked, could give a clear reason why we are there or who the enemy is and what goals have to met to win. I don't think many of our politicians could either.

Sadly, I also think there is a larger number in the country today who just don't care. It doesn't effect them, their telly or their benefits.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
The Falklands war was for everyone (I believe) at the time, a matter of huge national pride in our forces.

I was also young at the time, but I saw the entire country rally very strongly behind the forces going out to bash the Argies. They did a fantastic job, and I for one was in awe of them.

It's such a terrible, terrible thing that so many suffered such hardship after the event that they ended their lives. For want of a timely counselling regime, so many more lives were lost unecessarily.

I hope this will not be the legacy that is left behind after the current and recent conflicts are finished.
 
#17
I wonder how WW2 wouldbe played out with todays rolling media? 1st 3yrs were a bit of a washout for the British
 
#18
TalaveraTom said:
righthandmarker said:
The media has a massive influence in the public's perception of current conflicts. During the Falklands war, news was reported during the scheduled daily bulletins or the odd newsflash. Today news is a 24 hour monster with several heads that needs to be constantly fed and reaches an audience worldwide. Each news item today has to be micro-analysed so as to fill the 24 hours. This has a direct result on how a conflict is reported and how it's digested. As a result either for better or worse, opinions are formed.
Despite what the public might think, none of this prevents the fact that the humble British squaddie has been and always will be nails though.
I seem to remember that there was an agreed media embargo between the forces and the British news services of 24 hours. This meant that we were getting news that was at least 24 hours old. This however was broken when a BBC reporter made a report about the battle of Mount Tumbledown, in which he told the world the sitrep of the troops, 2 Para i think? This was picked up by the Argentinians and gave them ample time to strengthen their defences on top of Tumbledown. The reporters actions removed the element of surprise from the British troops, and led to far more casualties than would possibly have been expected from the attack. After that the relationship between the media and troops changed dramatically. Perhaps someone can fill in the details as my dotage may be playing tricks?
The BBC 'leak' was prior to Goose Green. I think the troops had reached Burntside house and shot the hell out of it when they heard about the BBC. As an aside, its just as well the only thing to be hit was the dog. 8O
 
#19
The Falklands conflict (it was never called a war) was a matter of great national pride and was essentially a naval (Andrew, RFA and merchant) operation. We still had in those days the ability to transport troops (2 brigades worth) half way round the world, achieve a successful amphibious landing and we had the loggie chain to support the whole thing.

We had a set of politicos, led by a PM with balls of steel, who gave wholehearted leadership and the unstinting support of the US of A (who supplied missiles and fuel at no cost).

It was (in the words of an Irishman, speaking of a battle in the previous century) 'A close run thing' but we achieved the aim.

Could we do it now?

ps the US of A offered a great deal more than just missiles and fuel - it would suprise you...

Anyone believe me if I said a carrier group?
 
#20
thanks for your input guys!! glad to have had my question answered in such depth :D
 

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